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Resilient Northwest Advances After an Improbable Victory Over Quince Orchard

Coach Mike Neubeiser's Northwest Jaguars, are the best three-loss football team in the country as they proved in Friday night’s thrilling 50-40 victory over Quince Orchard to advance to the 4A State Semi-Finals.

The Jags lost three games this year to three other teams that all made the post-season — Seneca Valley, Sherwood, and this Quince Orchard team. After last night, Northwest is the only team whose hopes of winning a state championship remain alive.

While no one is shocked by this because Neubeiser’s Jags are two-time defending 4A Maryland State Champs. But if you step back and look at how improbable it is for this team to be in this situation, you see how impressive this Northwest team really is.

“Our kids were resilient,” said Neubeiser.

For the third year in a row, the Jags had to travel to the Cougar Dome and face their bitter rival in the Regional Finals, after losing to them in the regular season. Yes, this is the third year in a row that Northwest defeated Quince Orchard to advance in the state playoffs after losing to them in the regular season.

It is no coincidence that this is the third year in a row that Mark Pierce had been the quarterback for Northwest. Pierce said the Northwest team met Quince Orchard in the playoffs had a different mentality than the team the lost to them on Oct. 16.

“In the regular season we didn’t really know who we were as a team, yet, when we played them the first time,” said Pierce. “We were very young. We made so many mistakes. After that game, we realized that if we were going to compete with them again because we knew we were going to be back there for the regional final – it happens like that every year. We knew if we wanted to beat them, we had to practice hard and have a different mentality.”

The Jags needed to be resilient right out of the gate, a Northwest penalty on the opening kickoff gave Quince Orchard the ball at midfield. A few plays later the Cougars quarterback Doc Bonner would score on the first possession of the game to stake Quince Orchard with a 7-0 lead.